Friday, November 23, 2012

Why Paula Abdul is the greatest artist of the 20th century

I set myself a task that seemed nearly impossible.

I was trying to find a song in the key of D minor with a female singer that was probably released in the 1980s.

Oftentimes I can find a song just by searching for a particular lyric.

Unfortunately, for this particular song I could only remember one snatch of the chorus: "Cross my heart, hope to die." Inasmuch as there are tons of songs that happen to include that particular lyric, it appeared to be a hopeless task.

But I kept on plugging away at it, and finally discovered that the song that I was looking for was called "Blowing Kisses in the Wind," by Paula Abdul.

This reminded me of another song that I've been listening to on over the years, "Crazy Cool."

I remember "Straight Up" and "Rush Rush" from Abdul's pop heyday, but for some reason I didn't discover "Crazy Cool" until years later. And I never associated "Blowing Kisses in the Wind" with her.

Part of the explanation is that "Blowing Kisses in the Wind" was released in 1991, as a later single from Spellbound (which also included "Rush Rush"), while "Crazy Cool" came out several years after that, in 1995. This was some time after Abdul hit it big in 1989 with "Straight Up."

Peter Lord worked with Abdul on her 1991 and 1995 albums, and gave an interview about his work with Abdul (and others). Excerpts:

"Rush, Rush" actually began as a dare or a joke with my Family Stand bandmate, Sandra St. Victor. Babyface was one of the top songwriters/producers at that time, and I told her I could write one of his type of hit ballads in my sleep (no disrespect). I ran to the piano and playfully played the first chords that would begin "Rush, Rush" and sang "You're the whisper of a summer breeze... You're the the kiss that puts my soul at ease..." I then looked at her and said, "Wait a minute, that's not bad!"...

"Blowing Kisses In The Wind" is actually one of my favorite songs I've ever written. It really should be covered again I think. The right country artist could give it a wonderful vibe. Are you listening Allison Cross, Taylor Swift?

Of course, for Taylor Swift the song would require a rewrite to become "No Longer Blowing Kisses In The Wind"....

It's kind of odd, because Paula Abdul doesn't necessarily have the most stellar reputation as a musician. But she was responsible for some pretty good songs.

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